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If the 1970s grew legs and drove a car it would look exactly like Burt Reynolds.
I honestly can not think of a day in my life where I wasn’t aware of Burt Reynolds. From appearing on daytime talks shows… The Tonight Show… commercials for his movies… the movies themselves… for the majority of my childhood he was omnipresent. Smokey and the Bandit came out in 1977, the same year as Star Wars, and I remember thinking it was pretty awesome as well. (not as awesome as Star Wars, though)
I would never have called myself “a Burt Reynolds fan,” because I just never thought about it that much, but after the news of his passing on Thursday, I realized I kind of am. Deliverance is amazing. Smokey and the Bandit was fun. Even Cannonball Run was enjoyable. The Best Little Whorehouse and Texas felt like a part he was born to play. I enjoyed his sitcom Evening Shade. And, of course, Boogie Nights. How he didn’t win an Oscar for that role is beyond me.
But, even coming to grips with the idea I liked his work more than I realized, it’s also like a part of my childhood died. I’m serious, if you weren’t around back then you truly can not grasp just how much he was everywhere. I’m not sure the man ever slept.
So, thank you Mr. Reynolds. You were a huge part of my childhood if I even didn’t realize it until now.